Bengals notable favorites over Ravens in playoff showdown

Like they did in the season finale, the Cincinnati Bengals enter the wild card round of the playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens as favorites.

It’s a rather notable line too in favor of the hosting Bengals. According to Tipico Sportsbook, the Bengals enter the win-or-go-home showdown as 6.5-point favorites.

Also like the week prior, it’s not hard to see why. The Bengals won 27-16 last week and did so while running a vanilla-looking offense. Coaches and players after the game quietly confirmed they kept the gameplan basic in order not to show their hand for the playoff rematch.

And while the Ravens did rest a few key starters, most of the starting defense was out there for Week 18. More importantly, it’s impossible to tell if superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson will actually be back from his injury after not playing in a game since November.

There are concerns for the Bengals. Top of the list is the absence of starting right guard Alex Cappa. That means two of the four upgrades from this past offseason will now watch from the sidelines.

Even so, the Bengals are at home and have won eight in a row. It hasn’t been perfect, as the team has struggled to play a consistent four quarters for a while now. But when the quarterback matchup is likely Joe Burrow vs. a second or third-stringer, it’s hard not to like Cincinnati’s chances.

Feel free to tack on the Bengals accusing Ravens players of “cheap” actions and Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh publicly slapping back at it as extra motivation for the hosts.

In fact, this is a line that could further grow as the week continues if official news about Jackson not playing comes out, so it might be wise to hop in now.

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Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire